Dinky Motor New Brushes

The Dinky Motor Project is a kit for kids to learn about electricity, magnetism and other miracles. Below is a brief video of an older version to see how easy they are to make.

We did a Dinky Motor test build last night. It went well despite the fact that I forgot to bring shafts.

Our server was kind enough to check the kitchen for skewers and bring us toothpicks and stir sticks. We managed to get the toothpicks working as it’s a coincidence that the shaft length matches. It’s time to add a check list for this project.


If that’s not enough excitement for you here’s another older version of the motor running a little stronger. The one above had some experimental windings which didn’t produce as much rpm.



I’m almost ready to settle on the four part armature design. My test subject was able to figure it out just by looking at the parts. Winding is easy and the wire stays secure without anysoldering.


The four pieces snap together in an obvious way. If you glue it, it doesn’t have any dry time since it stays together by itself.

Battery Box Base

I decided to make a battery box out of the base for fun. This eliminates external wire and fastening or soldering the wires. It makes for a very compact and simple battery box. My only concern is that it add steps and people will perceive the motor to be more complex (even though they are assembling two systems at once). The battery box adds two parts which are trivial but wrapping the wire to make the connections requires four steps. Perhaps I should start without this in my kit design and let people use their own power supply. I need to do more experiments and learn more about the market place.


We made brushes last night the usual way (which worked but are a little tricky to make). This morning I made more of an effort to find a new way and I may have something. I added two holes to the post that supports the shaft at the brush side. You fasten the wire, then form it by sticking a pencil in the hole. Pull out the pencil and viola, a perfectly formed brush. Here’s what it looks like:





2 Responses to “Dinky Motor New Brushes

  • The wire I’m using is .020 inches. It’s copper wire from a transformer. I guess that’s 24 gauge.

    There might be another material to use…

  • I measured the wire after the brush experiment and it was 9.5 and 11.5 inches. So I think we need 2 feet of 24 gauge wire.